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11 Hip-Hop Songs You Remember From Groups You Probably Don’t

  • d4l cali swag district
    In this day and age of the music industry when one song can catapult an artist to superstardom, the hype surrounding the Next Big Thing is as intense as it's ever been. But when thinking back over the last few decades, there have been plenty of examples of artists that popped up, caught the attention of the mainstream and disappeared just as quickly. While XXL spent the past week in the office bumping jams from D4L, Cali Swag District and the Shop Boyz, we decided to put together a list of 11 hip-hop gems made by groups who have faded into the pages of hip-hop history. Click through to check them out, and try not to party too much like a rock star. —Dionne Fowler
    d4l cali swag district wonder
  • B Rock And The Bizz Video Screenshot

    B-Rock & The Bizz

    Hometown: New York City/Mobile, Ala.
    Members: B-Rock, T-Bird and Leevirt Agee
    Song: “My Baby Daddy”
    Year: 1997
    Album: Porkin' Beans & Wienes
    Chart Position: No. 10 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: B-Rock & The Bizz is, by far, the epitome of a one-hit wonder. But we loved the humorous take on the "Baby-Momma-Daddy" drama that is, still, very much alive today. Besides, we dig the sampling of Motown group The Emotions' "Best of My Love."
    Where The Group Went: Despite the song being one of the year's biggest hits, the group left LaFace Records amidst a label feud. Since then, the group hasn't released another single or album.
    Current Status: Problems with LaFace Records has halted the group's success.

    b rock the bizz wonder
  • Sporty Thievz Album Cover

    Sporty Thievz

    Hometown: Yonkers, N.Y.
    Members: King Kirk, Big Dubez and Marlon Brando
    Song: “No Pigeons”
    Year: 1999
    Album: Street Cinema
    Chart Position: No. 12 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: It's no-holds-barred when it comes to this Yonkers trio and their response to the females with traditional values—especially when Atlanta's own TLC dropped the hit "No Scrubs." The group didn't grab much traction until dissing women with high standards came into play, and this track over the "No Scrubs" beat was a direct shot at their counterparts.
    Where The Group Went: In 2000, Sporty Thievz joined Brooklyn-bred rappers Mos Def and Talib Kweli on a project in honor of Amadou Diallo—an innocent African immigrant who was slain by the NYPD. The special EP, Hip Hop For Respect, featured 41 MCs for the 41 shots fired at Diallo by four plainclothes policemen. The following year, the trio lost one member, Marlon Brando, who was killed when a car reportedly swerved onto a sidewalk and hit him. They released a mixtape last year, and Kirk also released a solo project.
    Current Status: The remaining two are apparently working on a follow-up to their Street Cinema debut, dubbed Street Cinema Part 2, while King Kirk is a visual artist as well.
    You Can Find Them Here:

    sporty thievz pigeons
  • Iconz Street Money Album Cover


    Hometown: Opa-Locka, Fla.
    Members: Luc Duc, Stage McCloud, Bull Dog, Chapter, Tony Manshino, Screwface and SupaStarr
    Song: “Get Fucked Up”
    Year: 2000
    Album: Street Money Vol. 1
    Chart Position: No. 93 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: Simply put, it's just one of those songs you have to get crunked to. That three-note beat was infectious, and the song was an instant party banger with all the swagger that club jams at the turn of the century could muster. The remix with Lil Kim only added fuel to something that was already fire.
    Where The Group Went: The group wasn't actually that much of a group; instead, they were a collection of seven MCs tossed together for their Slip N Slide debut. They would later release another album on Koch Records
    Current Status: Everyone has since gone their separate ways, with Luc Duc putting out several solo albums, Screwface landing a few songs on compilations and producing as well, and Manshino steadily releasing music both in the States and his native Haiti. The rest are incredibly difficult to find.
    You Can Find Them Here: @TonyManshino

    iconz street money
  • Bravehearts Bravehearted Album


    Hometown: Queens, N.Y.
    Members: Jungle, Wiz and Horse; later Nashawn
    Song: “Oochie Wally”
    Year: 2000
    Album: Nas & Ill Will Records Presents QB's Finest
    Chart Position: No. 26 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: It got a little X-rated with Nasty Nas and his QB crew but nothing short of what the world was ready for. The men dominated the hip-hop scene at this time, so we're sure the fellas appreciated this hit. Nas hopped onto the remix and it became a club staple for a little while; Jay Z used the title as another way to diss Nas on "The Takeover."
    Where The Group Went: Originally made up of Nas' brother Jungle and his two homies Wiz and Horse from Queensbridge, Horse would leave in 2002 and the group would make two official albums, Bravehearted and Bravehearted 2.
    Current Status: Inactive outside of their relationships with Nas since their last album in 2008

    bravehearts nas jungle wiz
  • Da Band Too Hot For TV

    Da Band

    Hometown: New York City
    Members: Chopper (Young City), Babs, E. Ness, Freddy P, Dylan Dilinjah and Sara Stokes
    Song: “Bad Boy This Bad Boy That”
    Year: 2003
    Album: Too Hot For TV
    Chart Position: No. 50 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: Let's admit it, Diddy knows how to put together a group, be the driving force behind a hot beat and has an eye for talent. Keeping it together, not so much, but this song from the crew the Bad Boy chief put together for Making The Band 2 was an undeniable hit.
    Where The Group Went: At the closing of the show's third season, Diddy decided to drop all but Ness, Babs and Chopper from the group, then sent Chopper on to a solo career on Bad Boy South and packaged Ness and Babs as a duo. Eventually Chopper and Babs would leave the label, and the whole crew would be remembered mostly for the Chapelle's Show skit that parodied Diddy's show.
    Current Status: Da Band has been no more for some time now. Chopper has had an up-and-down career; he continued releasing singles after leaving Bad Boy South in 2005, dropped a series of mixtapes and started his own label, but was arrested multiple times and shot in Michigan in January 2012. The rest have gone on to solo careers with varying degrees of success: Sara Stokes wound up being arrested for stabbing her husband in 2009, then her husband was arrested two years later for allegedly beating her up during an argument; Babs runs a battle rap organization; Dylan, Freddy and Ness are still making music and touring as solo artists.
    You Can Find Them Here: Chopper | Babs | E. Ness | Freddy P | Dylan Dilinjah | Sara Stokes

    da band bad boy diddy
  • Trillville


    Hometown: Atlanta
    Members: Don P, Lil LA and Dirty Mouth
    Song: “Some Cut”
    Year: 2005
    Album: The King Of Crunk & BME Recordings Present: Trillville & Lil Scrappy
    Chart Position: No. 14 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: Who could forget that iconic bed squeak that kicked off the beat? Another classic track out of Lil Jon's crunk factory, this track put the ATL trio on the map in the era when crunk and its iteration club music were at their apex.
    Where The Group Went: After "Some Cut," the crew began work on their official debut, Trillville Reloaded, only to see it shelved indefinitely (finally coming out in 2011). By the time their second album came out in 2008, they had lost much of the momentum that had originally attracted fans to them.
    Current Status: According to the group's Twitter account, they had been touring together as recently as November 2013, but nothing has been updated since.
    You Can Find Them Here: @_RealTrillville

    trillville one hit wonder
  • d4l


    Hometown: Atlanta
    Members: Fabo, Shawty Lo, Mook-B and Stuntman
    Song: “Laffy Taffy”
    Year: 2005
    Album: Down For Life
    Chart Position: No. 1 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: D4L brought a brand new sound to the city of Atlanta when they helped kick off the snap music craze in the mid-2000s. The song's ubiquitous hook was hard to ignore and had girls across the country shaking that laffy taffy.
    Where The Group Went: Shawty Lo left the group after their first album, eventually signing to G-Unit in 2011 and having his own reality show, All My Babies' Mamas, which was cancelled almost immediately. Fabo apparently went back to school in 2009 and has experienced a bit of a cultural resurgence of late due to the popularity of Young Thug's "Stoner," during which he repeats the phrase "I feel like Fabo" over and over.
    Current Status: Shawty Lo apparently has his G-Unit album in the works, while Fabo has hinted at a mixtape out in the fall. Mook-B, meanwhile, founded an online radio station and appears to have left hip-hop forever. D4L turned out to not necessarily mean Down For Life after all.
    You Can Find Them Here: @FaboGeek | @THATSSHAWTYLO

    D4L fabo one hit wonder
  • The Pack

    The Pack

    Hometown: Berkeley, Calif.
    Members: Lil B, Young L, Stunnaman, Lil Uno
    Song: “Vans”
    Year: 2006
    EP: Skateboards 2 Scrapers
    Chart Position: No. 58 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: The Pack, led by a young goofball named Lil B, penned this ode to their favorite shoe brand, Vans, much like the St. Lunatics' admiration for a pair of "fresh" white Nikes. In 2006 it became the unofficial anthem for the slip-on shoes, which were becoming more and more popular across the country. Slip on a pair of "checkered Vans the same color as snow" and you can't help but bop your head and "get your boogie on."
    Where The Group Went: In 2009, the skateboard clique found competition just around the bend when Cali natives Legacy and Ben J formed the New Boyz. The "jerkin'" duo had a style that mirrored The Pack. But the group kept pushing and put out a second studio album, Wolfpack Party, in 2010. Lil B embarked on a solo career around the same time, and he hasn't looked back since.
    Current Status: The Pack may not be in the studio right now, but Lil B has been making a name for himself through his relentless positivity, his Based lifestyle and his prolific solo output, with over 50 mixtapes in the past five years.
    You Can Find Them Here: @realwolfpack

    the pack vans lil b
  • shop boyz

    Shop Boyz

    Hometown: Atlanta
    Members: Lil Meany, F.A.T and Sheed
    Song: “Party Like A Rockstar”
    Year: 2007
    Album: Rockstar Mentality
    Chart Position: No. 2 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: In 2007 you didn't have to be a rock star to party like one, according to the Shop Boyz, and they had a whole lot of people partying like they were. The Atlanta group provided a rock-influenced track that clubs everywhere would bump, and they rode it all the way to a Platinum plaque and a Grammy nomination. Seven years later, "Party Like A Rockstar" is still as catchy as the day it came out.
    Where The Group Went: The group went on to release a second single, "They Like Me," which charted but not very high. Since then, the Shop Boyz teamed up with C-Murder for a collaborative album and released an EP titled Back 2 Finish What We Started in 2011.
    Current Status: Hard to tell
    You Can Find Them Here: @theshopboyz

    shop boyz party like a rock star
  • gs boyz

    GS Boyz

    Hometown: Arlington, Texas
    Members: Soufside, Prince, Marc D, Slizz and DK
    Song: “Stanky Legg”
    Year: 2008
    Album: N/A
    Chart Position: No. 49 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: "Stanky Legg" is the ultimate dance song. Simple yet catchy, it helped define the dance wave that was coming out of Texas and Atlanta in that era; and Down South crunk music always gets us. Don't tell us you didn't learn the dance just to bust it out with your homies in the club.
    Where The Group Went: Since the 2008 dance hit, the group has lost three of its members and have gone their separate ways. In 2010, the remaining pair, Prince and Soufside, were said to be working on new projects.
    Current Status: Last year they dropped the song "Make It Bounce," which you can check out here. They also are preparing to drop a new mixtape and a few videos, according to their Facebook.
    You Can Find Them Here: @OfficialGsBoyz| Facebook

    gs boyz one hit wonder
  • cali swag district

    Cali Swag District

    Hometown: Inglewood, Calif.
    Members: Smoove Da General, Yung, JayAre and M-Bone
    Song: “Teach Me How To Dougie”
    Year: 2010
    Album: The Kickback
    Chart Position: No. 28 (Billboard Hot 100)
    Why It Was Hot: Another track that sparked an undeniable dance craze, when "Teach Me How To Dougie" came out it seemed like you couldn't get away from it. "The Dougie" originated in Dallas, and the track sparked countless YouTube videos, parodies and imitations of the video, becoming a popular track just about everywhere. Even President Obama and Michelle Obama got in on the action, doing the dance on Ellen and Dr. Oz, respectively.
    Where The Group Went: The group is currently working on projects and recently released a new video, "Pillhead," which features Cali rapper Nipsey Hu$$le. Tragically, just over a year after the song came out, the quartet was cut down to three after M-Bone was shot in a drive-by in his hometown of Inglewood.
    Current Status: Together and plotting more music, including a new track with Waka Flocka Flame that's due out soon.
    You Can Find Them Here: | @CaliSwagDstrct

    cali swag district teach me how to dougie

Previously: Ca$h Out Preps Debut, Avoids Becoming A One-Hit Wonder
Que Wants To Avoid Being A One-Hit Wonder After “O.G. Bobby Johnson” Success

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